The luscious pixel art and Metroidvania flow of Elderand give it appeal, just be ready for a pretty brutal challenge
Games that are inherently designed to be a steep challenge are always tough to evaluate, just because how gamers react to them tends to vary so widely. Certainly games like Celeste, Hollow Knight, and some others proved that when the controls are tight and there’s a worthwhile adventure to accompany the degree of toughness it can work out. While I have no doubt Elderand aspires to that goal, it doesn’t really rise to that overall level of depth and quality, making it tougher to broadly recommend. To a great degree the game is unrelenting, and though there are areas where save points feel fairly well-placed, it isn’t unusual to get into situations where it will feel like you’re a bit doomed. Part of the reason for that is there are a few types of enemies that tend to pop up quickly, making it tough not to take a cheap hit, and in general the combat keeps it simple, perhaps a bit to a fault. You’re not a terribly nimble warrior and your limited scope of moves can make it difficult at times to avoid taking damage while in a fight. Throw in inventory management and item use that is a bit more cumbersome than the average and this is a solid and attractive Metroidvania that challenge hounds should dig, but isn’t so strong that it’s worth enduring if you’re not as strong a player.
Justin Nation, Score: